The IRS is supposed to simply implement the tax law as written and of course investigate while enforcing the tax code. Similar to law enforcement activity, the IRS can’t just change the ‘probable cause’ rules of investigation on a case-by-case basis. The IRS – at the highest level – outright targeted TEA Party groups because they didn’t like them.
There are a significant number of people who think the IRS should be completely dismantled. The tax code is a complete mess and impossible to deal with. It costs businesses and individuals millions of hours of lost productivity each year to deal with the 70,000-plus pages of federal tax regulations. If you’re part of an association that probably thinks we could do without the IRS, and the IRS is the exclusive organization responsible to approve your operations, how do you think that will work out?
Lois G. Lerner, the woman at the center of the Internal Revenue Service scandal over special scrutiny of conservative groups, specifically targeted tea party applications and directed that they be held up in 2011 in order to come up with an agency policy, according to several of Ms. Lerner’s emails released by a House committee Thursday.
In one 2011 email, Ms. Lerner specifically calls the tea party applications for tax-exempt status problematic, which seems to counter Democrats’ arguments that tea party groups weren’t targeted.
The emails released have been partially redacted and are posted here, here and here. First, we have the mid-May incident where then acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller told congress “rogue agents” in a Cincinnati office were “off the reservation.” Miller was gone within days, and Obama supposedly was really angry. At the top of this agency, we had an exposed cover-up.
Jump ahead five months and liberals and Democrats are trying to claim this was a big to-do about nothin’.
On to some of Lois Lerner emails released yesterday. Lerner was the director of the IRS Exempt Organizations. Again, at the top of the IRS organization’s food chain. Concerning a report called a “January SCR Summary,” Lerner highlighted the TEA Party.
Tea Party Matter very dangerous. This could be the vehicle to go to court on the issue of whether Citizen’s United overturning the ban on corporate spending applies to tax exempt rules. Counsel and Judy Kindell need to be in on this one please needs to be in this. Cincy should probably NOT have these cases — Holly please see what exactly they have please.
Note, Lerner is not stating the TEA Party is “dangerous,” rather she seems to imply the applications are a “touchy” matter politically. In a following email, she directly implies the IRS review is trying to “get there” (get to a specified outcome) “without saying the only reason they don’t get a 3 is political activity.”
… even if we go with a 4 on the Tea Party cases, they may want to argue they should be 3s, so it would be great if we can get there without saying the only reason they don’t get a 3 is political activity.
I’m thinking Lerner was referring to 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) assignments, but I’m not sure. In my opinion this may be their justification of the over-the-top documentation and questionnaires required by the IRS after the initial – completed in full – applications were received.
I started this post off using the phrase “outright targeted TEA Party groups because they didn’t like them” and I do stand by that for the simple fact conservative TEA Party organizations were disproportionally targeted. Who says? Remember the IRS Inspector General Report from early May (PDF)? Read at least the first page. Here are a couple of snippets.
Early in Calendar Year 2010, the IRS began using inappropriate criteria to identify organization applying for tax-exempt status to review for indications of significant political campaign intervention. …
The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based on their names of policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention. …
… no work was completed on the majority of these applications for 13 months. …
[Some applications were open] for more than three years and crossing two election cycles. …
Many organizations received requests for additional information from the IRS that included unnecessary, burdensome questions (e.g., lists of past and future doners.)
That’s just a little of the scathing internal report, and now we have liberals, Democrats, statists and the liberal media claiming this was a manufactured scandal that’s irrelevant. The federal government is too damn big, nothing at all like what our Founders envisioned, and must be shrunk to something much smaller.
Supposedly the FBI is investigating, but they are not investigating.
FBI director Robert Mueller and acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel have launched investigations into the matter, but have not contacted any of the conservative groups involved in the ACLJ’s class-action suit. Eric Holder’s Justice Department, which Holder claims is coordinating with the FBI on its investigation, has also not contacted any of Sekulow’s clients..